Urban Legend Number Two: The Knockout Perfume

We've all been there. You're innocently walking through the fragrance section of a department store when suddenly, out of nowhere, a sales associate accosts you and spritzes you with a perfume so strong it could knock you out. Now there is an internet email going around that warns people about a perfume that can literally do just that. Only it's not true.

I have received yet another alarmist email from my aunt. Regular readers may remember the email she sent me in April about lead in lipstick that turned out to be an urgan legend. Recently, she sent me this email about this alleged knockout perfume:

MAKE SURE YOUR DAUGHTERS, FRIENDS, RELATIVES, ETC. KNOW!
>
> Th is was written by a guy from KVLY-TV in Fargo; see bottom of msg.
> This is true. Scary!
>
> This is something that happened to us on the way back from vacation
> last week. At first I didn't think much of it until now. The reason we
> were
> a little suspicious is we had been riding in a jeep all day with 100
> degree temps and we stopped at a truck stop for something to drink.
>
> When I was leaving, a young girl followed me out and asked what kind
> of cologne I was wearing.
> Well, after 7 hours in the car sweating, I don't think you could tell
> if I was or was not wearing any cologne. We just got in the jeep and
> said
> no thanks.
>
> Then it was about 3 weeks ago, I was at a service station in Birmingham
> getting gas. It was about 9:30 pm. I was approached by 2 men and 2
> women in a car. The man that was driving asked me 'What kind of perfume
> do you
> wear?'
> I was a bit confused and I asked him 'Why?' He said, 'We are selling
> some name brand perfumes, at cheap prices.I said I had no money. He then
> reached out of the car and handed me paper that was laminated; it had
> many
> perfumes on it. I looked quickly at it and gave it back. I said, have no
> money.
> He said it is OK, we take check, cash, or credit cards. Then the people
> in the car began to laugh. I just got in my car and said no thanks.
>
> Then I received this e-mail yesterday and it sent chills up my spine.
>
> Please read this. It is no joke. Here is the e-mail I was sent:
>
> Dear Friends:
>
> I know not all of you are women that I am sending this to, but am
> hoping you will share this with your wives, daughters, mothers, sisters,
> etc. Our
> world seems to be getting crazier by the day. Pipe bombs in mail boxes
> and
> sickos in parking lots with perfume. Be careful. I was approached
> yesterday
> afternoon around 5:30 PM in the Wal-Mart parking lot by two men asking
> what kind of perfu me I was wearing. Then they asked if I'd like to
> sample
> some fabulous scent they were willing to sell me at very reasonable
> rate. I
> probably would have agreed had I not received an e-mail warning of a
> 'Wanna smell this neat perfume?'
> The men continued to stand between parked cars, I guess to wait for
> someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going towards them, pointing at
> them
> and told her about how I was sent an e-mail at work about someone
> walking
> up to you at the malls or in parking lots and asking you to SNIFF
> PERFUME
> that they are selling at a cheap price or at least compare to which one
> you
> like best.
>
> THIS IS NOT PERFUME… IT IS ETHER!
>
> When you sniff it, you'll pass out. They'll take your wallet, your
> valuables
> and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this e-mail, I probably
> would have sniffed the 'perfume' but thanks to! the generosity of an
> e-mailing friend, I was spared whate ver might have happened to me. I
> wanted to
> do the same for you.
>
> PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS AND PLEASE BE ALERT
> AND BE AWARE. IF YOU ARE A MAN AND RECEIVE THIS, PASS IT ON TO YOUR
> WOMEN FRIENDS.
>
> Ladies, this happened to me yesterday and I didn't smell the perfume
> either,
> thanks to this email. This is true. Believe me, I know. I was over by
> Big
> Lots in the parking lot at lunch time when I was approached.
>
> So either day or night, it does not matter. There were 3 guys together
> when I was approached. I called the police when I got back to my desk.
> Like
> the email says above, LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT THIS – YOUR FRIENDS,
> FAMILY,
> CO-WORKERS, whomever. It helped me. The first thing that popped into my
> head
> was this e-mail warning.
>
MAKE SURE YOUR DAUGHTERS KNOW

Once again I have consulted my trusty mythbusting source. Sure enough, like the lead in lipstick story, this one is also an urban legend. And there are several variations on it. There's the Little Rock, Arkansas variant. The Australian variant. The Singapore Variant. The Canadian Variant. All of them involve the same ether-disguised-as-perfume-to-take-advantage-of-you ruse. Bottom line, if you get an email about this, do what I do. Hit the "Delete" button.

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